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BBE BMAX Class A/B Bass Preamp

Replicating the sound of classic tube preamps, the BMAX lets you craft the perfect tones for recording or DI with its finely-tuned EQ and Dynamic controls. (19) Read 6 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Product Description

The BMAX is a high quality bass preamp/processor for the recording studio and on the stage. At the heart of the BMAX is a class A/B front-end, the input of which emulates the loading effect that the input of classic-design tube preamp would present to the bass pickups, and one of the key aspects in the warmth and punch of tube preamps. The BMAX also provides a pure and clean electronically-balanced DI output. From its 1/4 in. thick extruded front panel to thoughfully designed ergonomics to the red-abalone-topped knobs, the fit and finish of the BMAX exudes quality craftsmanship.

Features

The BMAX is perfect anywhere an extremely high-quality, pristine preamplifier is required for the bass guitar

In the recording studio where a bass amplifier is impractical due to space or loudness considerations

In performance applications, where players will find the BMAX ergonomics intuitive and easy to use

The BMAX EQ and Dynamic controls, combined with the patented Sonic Maximizer processor, afford a wide palette of tonal choices

zZounds is an authorized dealer of BBE products.
Specifications

Full Function 4th Generation BBE Sonic Maximizer processor

Solid-state, Class A/B front-end with interactive 3 band EQ and interactive "bright" switch

Electronically balanced DI output

Quasi-parametric mid-range EQ with 12db of boost or cut between 250 to 1000hz

Single-knob soft-knee optical compressor

Inputs for both passive pickup and active pickup instruments

1meg ohm input impedance

Ground lift switch

Balanced XLR and 1/4 in. TRS Outputs

Military-spec circuit boards

Extra thick, extra wide circuit board traces for unequaled electron flow

1% metal film resistors throughout

Solid 1/4 in. thick aluminum extrusion front panel for extreme ruggedness

Made with pride in the USA

5 year warranty
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Shipping Weight: 8 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 4 in
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 714-897-6766
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (19 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Simply Outstanding!"
Overall: Let me just say first,... I have been playing professionally for 25 years or so and have owned nearly every boutique bass amp and preamp under the sun. That includes Alembic F1-X, Glockenklang, Trace Elliot, EBS, Demeter, GK, Hughes & Kettner, Ampeg,Kern etc, etc. I play, Status Graphite basses, Wal, Spector, Fodera, Sadowsky's and Carvin Vanquish basses (Fretless & fretted). Why this beauty slipped past me is baffling? I later learned that BBE is a small family company and doesn't have all the slick marketing dollars to flood the music scene. Turns out the gentleman that designed this pre for BBE designed it after the luscious Alembic F1-X for the blooming bottom end and full 'Middle' tone. The top end was designed around a Glockenklang Soul-O bass preamp. (Two of the industry favs at ANY price). Win, win! So, already being a fan of the smooth, buttery single knob compression from the EBS Fafner bass head,.. I was intrigued to see this method of compression applied here. And yes, it works as it should. set it about 1:00 and leave it. Done! Now the details... also already a big fan of the BBE time aligning technology, this extra feature adds that 3 dimensional sparkle. And low thickness. Imagine a blanket being lifted off of your favorite speaker cabinet! Just to clarify, This preamp is NOT a pre that 'Overdrives' your tone. (Billy Sheehan would have not much use for it)! Lol! But!... Think, Leland sklar, Jimmy Johnson, Marcus, Mark King, Geddy Lee during the Presto, Power Windows, Vail Johnson, era... etc. With military grade circuit boards and pots used throughout this baby is built SOLID! Pots are thick and creamy. I tour extensively,... Front of house engineers at The MGM, Treasure Island, Toby Keith's, the Tropicana ALL have commented on this pristine bass preamp! Complements of the 'studio grade' Direct Out. (Keep in mind 'FLAT' setting is approx Bass @ 2 MID @ 10 and Treble @ 2) Use sparingly : ) All of this boutique, WITHOUT the boutique price! Amazing. Just Buy It! : ) Bobby in Phoenix, Vegas & Nashville.
Style of Music: New Country, Rock, Jazz, Pop.
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"Very Good Product It Just Takes A Little Patients"
Sound: Good Solid State Tone. I would say it's somewhat Hi-Fi in it's tone character. It does color your tone some so it's not a clean Hi-Fi like a G & K sound is but it's not as gritty old scholl like a SS or Tube Ampeg or Ashdown. Sort of in between. I prefer this preamp with my active basses I play active Fender Jazz basses as well as a MM Stingray 5. Works great with those. I don't have my tone dialed in as well with my passive Fender Jazz basses. I'm just having to experiment more with the EQ on the passives Jazz. Still sounds good but I'm not quite there yet. I am using this Bmax with a QSC 1450 power amp and Avatar B210 Delta & B212 Delta cabinets or with an Ampeg SVT 410 HE 4 ohm cabinet. Works well with everything. Feature: This preamp has a built in compressor that works quite well. I have heard people complaining about it but I have not had any noise issues. I have heard some people say that in the recording studio you might detect some slight buzzing. For live playing it's not a problem. I run my chorus Boss CEB-3 Chourus pedal, TU-2 Tuner, NS-2 noise suppressor' and ODB-3 Distotion pedal through the effects loop. I like a little tube simulation and run My Sansamp BDDI direct into the instrument input. Everything works great and the loop is nice and quiet. I like the Sonic Maximizer thats built in as well. I have always liked that product for PA racks and it really does a nice job of cleaning up the signal. Makes the lows very clear cleans up any muddy sound and makes the mids clear and punchy. Put together very well. Nice solid knobs and a 1/4" aluminum front plate. Very nice Ease of Use: This preamp took some time to get used to. The Bass & Treble are boost and the Mid control is cut only. Then there is the Para-Mid knob. I'm raised on Ampeg so lots of knobs get me confused. It's hard to find an actual flat setting. the manual says it's "reasonably flat" at Bass 2 Treble 2 & Mid 10. It's sounds flat...I guess, but you just have to play around with it to find "your" tone. I'm still experimenting after two months with my passive basses but my actives are sounding great through the Bmax. Quality: Built very solid, looks very nice, I like the red knobs. they look "classy", not "cheesey" like the red knobs on a Trace Elliot (good product just ugly knobs). Came out of the box cosmeticly perfect and everything works good. No issues with build quality at all. I heard some Bmax came out with a gain circuit that was too hot at the instrument input. It is a bit hot but I seem to have got one that is ok. I use mostly active 4 & 5 string Fender & Musicman basses and have had no problems with the input clipping my amp. I gig with a back up Peavey MAX head but I really don't see this thing going down on me. It's a good quality product and my other BBE products have always been reliable so I expect it to last. Value: It's worth the money. It's actually on the low end of the bass preamp scale in terms of price because it's solid state but it's a very good quality product. Manufacturer Support: Can't really say since I have never had to deal with them on any of the BBE products that I own. I guess I'll give them a nine for not making me have to call them. The Wow Factor: I have to admit that the looks of thing got my attention. It's looks like a an expensive piece of gear and those knobs are cool. I tried it out based on the looks alone. After playing it I reliazed it could sound really good to. When I went to the pre/power set up instead of the head it's the first preamp I thought of. Overall: I expect to run this BBE unit for a long time. The only thing that may change for me is the fact that I like tubes and may go the tube route instaed of SS. I will audition the BmaxT for that and see how it compares to a SVP Pro. If it was lost or stolen I would (actually State Farm) would buy another Bmax. It's a good product and I'm happy with it.
Style of Music: Christian Rock, Classic Rock, 80's Alternative
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